Monday, 4 October 2010

A Seasonal Mix

Right, I'm not going to rattle on this time, I'm sure someone's thinking "that goodness for that!". But to get the past weekend's birding up to date, which involved a real seasonal-crossover mix of late summer migrants, early winter migrants and some typical autumn waders.

Saturday started out up on the Weaver Hills, where there was still no Lapland Bunting! But there were 2 Wheatears that showed really well, a fly-past Grey Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Siskin, 9 Linnet, a flock of around 150 Meadow Pipits.

Then a walk around Swineholes Wood. The main highlight here was finding 4 Redwings, pleased with that as the 2nd October is still pretty early for them round these parts. Also around were 2 Goldcrests within a tit flock, 4 Linnet, 3 Red-legged Partridge, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Plus the resident Shetland Ponies, that keep the habitat in check.

After a spot of lunch, Uttoxeter Quarry was next. Still rather quiet at the moment, birds seen included 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Goosander, 2 Wigeon, 23 Teal, 1 Sparrowhawk. But in truth, we could do with an increasing water level here now, to attract some more wildfowl. Which is definitely not a problem at Brookleys Lake, my last port of call for Saturday. Brookers held an impressive 98 Tufted Duck, 15 Mandarin, 1 drake Pochard, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Kingfisher.

Only Blithfield was visited on Sunday, due to biblical amounts of rain and the promise of being able to sit in a hide and not get wet. Tad Bay held 23 Wigeon but surprisingly no Pintail, a brief visit from a Black Tern, the Black-tailed Godwit still, a rather late Yellow Wagtail, 8 Swallows through. A decent sized flock of waders were along Admaston Reach included 4 Little Stints, here's 2 of them:

Plus 29 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, the Black Tern again with a juvenile Common Tern.

That's going to be it for blogging for a while. On Sunday I drive down to Penzance, then a week today I'm going to the Scillies, woohoo! I do know that Scilly has had a few quiet Octobers in recent years. In a way that appealed to me going this year, law of averages would dictate that this run should change. But however good or bad the birding will be, I'm sure it will be an experience.

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